Arbonne RE9 Advanced Skincare Review

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This is Arbonne’s anti-aging range. I hate investing in products which might not suit my skin so I was glad to test these samples for several weeks first. I think my skin needs a little more help these days but nothing too rich.

Soothing Facial Cleanser

I had been excavating some of my pores before using this and I can say that my skin needed soothing. I was also wearing some left over eyeshadow from a look I was experimenting with. This product cleansed and calmed my skin effectively without drying it out, which I was happy with.

Regenerating Toner

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned on this blog before I use toner in the morning (if I deep cleansed my skin the night before) and in the evening if I’m not wearing any makeup, to take away the grime of the day and balance the oils in my skin. I really like this toner as it’s calming, refreshing, removes dirt and grease effectively. It does have an incredibly strong scent of Witch Hazel on first application but it doesn’t last very long.

Intensive Renewal Serum

I applied this every day after cleansing and I have to say that it had the unappealing scent of alcohol, not the best start! Surprisingly, it gave my skin a lovely velvety feel and my makeup glided on and lasted a lot longer than I expected without using a primer underneath. It also helped my skin to stay balanced for around 8 hours (not too oily or dry) and I had no need for moisturiser until later in the day. It did nothing for my lines, probably because they are not remotely fine and are just the shape of my face now I’m in my 30’s!

Corrective Eye Cream

Through some wonderful miracle – which I’m yet to get my head around – my eye bags have reduced by around two thirds over the last three months. I tested this on my mini bags and liked the firming result. I still prefer eye gel as it cools down so well in the fridge but I do recommend this.

Restorative Day Cream SPF 20

First of all I think ALL face creams should have at least SPF15, secondly my skin hated this product! It made my face itch a lot, then it got hot and went very red so I hurriedly washed it off. I looked through the ingredients in this product and there is nothing there which I know I have a sensitivity to, however, I’ve experienced this with two products before and have never gotten to the bottom of what the ingredient/s is or are. I need to start keeping the ingredients list of problem products to see which ingredients they have in common.

Extra Moisture Restorative Day Cream

I did not test this because a) I don’t need extra moisture in my skincare, especially during hot humid months and b) I didn’t want to risk another reaction.

Night Repair Cream

Same allergic reaction I had to the Day Cream but slightly less and more gradual. Thank goodness I used this in the evening when I could wash it off and not when I’d gone to bed and possibly fallen asleep!

Over Rating ❤ ❤ ❤

I’m very aware that everyone’s skin reacts differently to different things, so I’m not going to utterly slate Arbonne, especially as I liked their Calm range which I reviewed earlier. Maybe this is why they need a calm range?

Chrissie

 

 

Gluten & Dairy Free, Veggie Foodie Review

As most of you will know by now I’m a vegetarian with food intolerance to gluten, egg white and dairy. Dairy makes me ‘go’ and wheat and eggs put a swift halt to that, making me incredibly full and bloated. Sometimes if I’m careful they can balance each other out, like eating a thin crust pizza with lots goats cheese on or making an omelette with a layer of Cheddar cheese in the middle for instance. However, 90% of the time I stick with free-from foods as it’s simpler and much kinder on my body in so many ways.

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Clockwise in a spiral

Gusto, Firebreath Oil

I know this isn’t exactly free-from but I bought it as a contrast to egg free mayo/garlic sauce for when I want a versatile spicy dressing and can’t be bothered reading endless ingredient labels in shops and having the fridge full of condiments. It’s perfect for pizza, pasta, salad and sauces.

Terre Vegane, Egg Free Omelett Mix

I’m getting a lot better at using this now. Pan well heated with a little oil, fry some onions or mushrooms a little first. Pour in mixture and swirl around pan, add salt and pepper. Leave it alone to cook then tease the edges loose and shake pan until omelett slides around. Flip over quickly and leave to cook again. Quick, simple and tasty, once you get the hang of it.

Rebel Kitchen, Mylk Banana 

This really should be called ‘Banana and Chocolate’ as it tastes just like banana and chocolate Chupa Chups. It’s coconut milk based rather soy which makes a nice change for dairy substitutes. My only complaint is the plastic straw as they never biodegrade but I s’pose if if your kid has a dairy intolerance/allergy what are you going to do?

Vego Whole Hazelnut Chocolate Bar (large)

Are these really the holy grail of dairy-free choccy bars? Yup! They taste like the outside of Forrero Rocher. Nommmmm. The Vegolino Fine Nougat Pralines taste like the centre of Forrero Rocher by the way but I find them too sickly.

Primal Strips Texas BBQ

I think these are even more divisive than Marmite. You either start craving them or you literally can’t chew them. Made from soy protein (non GMO) they are sort of squidgy and have a grain to them. Because of my Sensory Processing Disorder I crave stimulation when it comes to textures and flavour. As a kid I would demolish Peperami’s in seconds like some little wild cave-child so I love these! However, I’ve heard some people describe them as similar to eating an eraser and an old leather boot so…

Geo Choco Peanut Butter

I have to mix peanut butter with strawberry jam otherwise it feels like cement in my mouth. I ignored this fact when I bought this, thinking the chocolate would be runny and slippery enough. It’s not. I’ve started adding this to banana and almond milk smoothies instead of putting it on my grainy Genius bread. Maybe if I tried it on thin white bread it would be better.

Free & Easy Cheese Flavour Sauce Mix

I mix this up in a jug with sweetened almond milk, a little salt and some smoked paprika. Then I pour it into a pan of drained pasta and heat it while stirring constantly until it’s really thick. It makes some pretty good Mac n’ ‘cheese’!

Bouja Bouja Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles

I’m so glad I don’t have a nut allergy! These are little squares of heaven. They are dusted with bitter chocolate powder but are soft and sweet on the inside – the perfect balance once you bite into them.

Bute Island, Creamy Sheese, Cheddar Style Spread

This tastes exactly like their solid Cheddar style cheese. Similar to real cheese but slightly sweater, a lot like Wotsits or Cheese Poofs.

The Foods of Athenry, Belgian Chocolate Biscuit Bar, Caramel Rocky Road

THE BEST CHOCOLATE BAR EVER! This had caramel, marsmallow, biscuit and chocolate. It did not last very long. Nommmm

OMBAR, Centres, coconut and vanilla

This is the lightest, most refreshing little chocolate bar.  It tasted similar to a dark Bounty bar but with a smooth texture.

GranoVita Mushroom Pate 

Subtle savoury flavour, lovely on warm crusty bread or on crackers with cherry tomatoes.

I hope I’ve inspired you to try something a little different or maybe filled a gap in your dietary preferences, if you’ve been struggling.

What do you think of these?

Chrissie

 

Soap & Glory, Gloss Stick and Matte Lip

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Soap & Glory, Gloss Stick in Nudist

This is super glossy and does make lips look bigger but there is very little colour payoff, which I was really disappointed about. It’s non sticky which is a bonus but as a result doesn’t last particularly long. I just use it as a clear gloss if I want to make any of my matte or silk lipsticks shine for a change (as I don’t have all colours in all finishes). Oh, almost forgot to mention, it smells like marshmallows.

Rating ❤ ❤

Soap & Glory Matte Lip in Chocoberry 

This is the kind of half-matte lip product I like as it’s non drying, glides on easily and it doesn’t dry down to a dull flat kind of look. The pigment slowly and subtly fades over a number of hours and lasts through drinks but not a meal. The problem I have is the colour, which is very berry but without a hint of chocolate. It’s really bright! I’ve started dabbing a brown moisturising lipstick over the top to get the colour I want but obviously that doesn’t last as long as the matte colour underneath. At least it brings out the light green in my eyes I s’pose.

Rating ❤ ❤

Chrissie

 

Geek Blogger Tag 2017


I really love joining in with blog tags and reading other bloggers answers, so I decided to make one of my own. This is for absolutely any one who wants to join in! ^_^

What is your earliest memory of liking something un-mainstream or geeky?

The live action film of Marvels Howard The Duck in the 80’s. Pretty sure that film wasn’t meant for little kids but I loved it!

What is your fave geeky item of clothing or accessory?

Has to be my Count Duckula tee from Truffle Shuffle.

What guilty purchases do you treat yourself to sometimes?

Funko Pops! Hardly original, ha!

What are your favourite geeky or unusual books (including comics or graphic novels)?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Little Big by John Crowley and The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and The Crow by James O’ Barr.

Which geeky/alternative character do you identify with most and why?

Jane, the best friend of Daria in the 90’s TV series Daria. She was alternative in an edgy sort of way, plus she was sarcastic and observational but more optimistic than Daria.

What are your favourite hobbies other people consider geeky?

Keeping a rough scrap book full of mood boards or ticket stubs or anything else you can glue to a page that’s interesting. Keeping an optimism diary complete with cute stickers.

What are your favourite retro games (tabletop or console/PC)?

Idiot Box from the 90’s full of questions on film and TV. Dingbats which was full of those say-it-as-you-see-it cartoons which describe well known sayings. C64 games like Rainbow Islands, Bounder and Manic Miner.

Who is your geeky inspiration IRL?

Jennifer Lawrence. She falls, a lot (she’s won me over already) but she also says inspirational things in her usual un-sanctamonious way.

What would your superhero/vigilante name be and what would your power/special skill be?

Wenchetta and my special skill would be Jeet Kune Do which uses your opponents moves, weight and momentum against them, while you stay relatively still using the least energy possible.

What 3 geeky TV series have you gotten into lately?

Westworld OMG it’s amazing! Lucifer, why does no one ever talk about this series, it’s been on forever? Elementary, a US version of Sherlock Holmes with Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Loo which actually works really well. I have a huge crush on Miller as Sherlock. Rick and Morty, how have I only just come across this wonderful madness!?

Don’t forget to add the logo and a link back to my blog in your reply post to join in! Let me know if you do in the comments so I can pop over and have a read ^_^

Chrissie

Arbonne, Calm Range Review

I’ve only recently discovered Arbonne, traditionally a skincare company developed in Switzerland in 1975 and I’m impressed with the purity of their products and the ethically sourced botanicals they contain. Their products – now ranging from skincare and makeup to nutrition – are vegetarian, free from animal products or by-products, artificial flavours, artificial sweeteners, benzene, formaldehyde donating preservatives, mineral oil, parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, sodium laureth sulfates (SLES), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), synthetic dyes and talc and gluten.

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I have mild heyfever so my skin gets irritated easily in spring and summer, so I need lighter, gentler products making the Calm range perfect for me.

Soothing Facial Serum

• Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes and moisturises
• Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) helps soothe skin
• Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) softens and soothes skin
• Mallow (Malva sylvestris), rich in vitamins, softens and soothes
• Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) contains antioxidant properties
• Sea mayweed (Matricaria maritima) calms skin
• Japanese green tea (Camellia oleifera) helps soothe skin

It’s been so humid lately I’ve not needed to use any moisturiser (my skin sucks up the moisture out of the air so well) but my skin did need soothing and balancing, which is exactly what this serum achieved and without any oil slicks around my T-zone in the evening. I’m going to carry on using my usual serum for Autumn and Winter as it contains vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid and retinol (which I know some people can be sensitive to so it’s understandable this wouldn’t be a suitable ingredient for the Arbonne Calm range).

Gentle Daily Cleanser

• Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes and moisturises
• Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) helps soothe skin
• Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) softens and soothes skin
• Mallow (Malva sylvestris), rich in vitamins, softens and soothes
• Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) contains antioxidant properties
• Sea mayweed (Matricaria maritima) calms skin
• Japanese green tea (Camellia oleifera) helps soothe skin

I think I’ve worn makeup twice this whole summer but when I did, it was a full face. This gentle cleanser removed all of my makeup (although I wasn’t wearing water proof mascara) and left my skin feeling clean, refreshed and nourished.

Soothing Eye Gel

• Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes and moisturises
• Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) helps soothe skin
• Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) softens and soothes skin
• Mallow (Malva sylvestris) rich in vitamins, softens and soothes
• Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) contains antioxidant properties
• Sea mayweed (Matricaria maritima) calms skin
• Japanese green tea (Camellia oleifera) helps soothe skin

I have to confess that I’ve been upping my salt and water intake to help me cool down in the heat and my gosh has it made a difference to my giant puffy eye bags! After using this gel (which I keep in the fridge and apply by gentle taping with my ring finger) my bags weren’t visible AT ALL. Can’t get any better than that!

Gentle Daily Moisturiser

After some gentle exfoliating with a fruit peel my face needed some moisturiser but I was dreading the feel of it on my skin and wondering if it would be too heavy. My skin absorbed this moisturiser immediately and any redness from exfoliating had subsided within five minutes. I also used some on my hands which were rather dry as it was to hand (please excuse the pun) and it worked really well. I would recommend this as a basic moisturiser to everyone, no matter what their skin type.

Overall Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

You can purchase the full range of Arbonne products here and I’ll be doing more reviews soon.

Chrissie

 

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30 Random Things I Appreciate


As this hot weather is kicking my chronically fatigued arse – no matter how much salt and water I have and no matter how many cans of energy drinks and jars of coffee I go through – I thought I’d write a simple list post. A positive reminder to value the simple things in life.

  1. Having someone kind enough to go out and buy almond milk to make me iced coffee
  2. Caffeine in all its wonderful forms
  3. Feeling alert and awake
  4. Cold shoulder tops and strapless dresses which don’t fall down (I might as well add unicorns and mermaids here)
  5. Quiet neighbours
  6. Friendly neighbours
  7. Dairy free White-Russian’s
  8. The ambient music on the main screen of the PS4 as it helps me concentrate more than silence
  9. The fact I have a laptop so my hands and neck don’t cramp up after ten minutes of typing
  10. Lots of natural light pouring inside
  11. Shade from trees outside
  12. Having a cool shower on a stiflingly hot day
  13. Cucumber sticks and humus
  14. Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream
  15. An appetite, clearly
  16. Giant bolster cushions from Ikea
  17. Vans and Converse trainers
  18. Someone to watch sci-fi, superhero and fictional detective TV shows with
  19. Those pretend-felt blankets from Ikea
  20. Gluten free beer
  21. Bloody Mary’s (best hangover cure, ever!)
  22. A strong and constant wifi signal
  23. Awesome people I chat to regularly on social media or through my blog
  24. Offers of collaborations from some lovely brands
  25. A partner who’s into gaming at the same level as me
  26. Having a terrible head for figures but knowing the value of things
  27. Well grilled ‘cheese on toast’ with black pepper
  28. Hugs
  29. Restful sleep
  30. People reading all of this list

Chrissie

If You Like It Then You Should’a Put Some Bling On It!

If You Like It Then You Should'a Put Some Bling On It!

 

There’s always a way to incorporate sparkle into every outfit, for any occasion.

My Lifestyle Lately – June

For the first Summer in a few years I’ve been in a position to take advantage of the warm/mild weather by keeping up my salt and hydration levels (essential for people with POTS/EDS), pacing myself and only doing one or two tasks per day (and asking for help with them) and not going out until mid afternoon when it’s cooler.

Food & Drink

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I have gotten massively into veggie sushi. This Uramaki or ‘inside-out’ sushi is incredibly refreshing and doesn’t taste of seaweed as strongly as the usual Hosomaki, if that’s what normally puts you off eating sushi. I’m very lucky that a Chinese noodle and sushi takeaway has opened up in the place of my old Thai take away. Wheat and dairy free, veggie options abound! Just don’t mistake a big blob of wasabi for avocado like I did o_O

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I took a chance and bought some new things to try. Read my review of them here.

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My Dad is lucky enough to have a community garden and allotment around the corner from the house which he goes to a few times a week. He brought these amazing organic strawberries and raspberries home. They were all ripe and tasted amazingly fresh and sweet, wow! Nothing like the half ripe, irradiated crap from some of the supermarkets.

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Dairy free fruit split lollies from Tesco are a winner in lemon, strawberry and blackcurrant.

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I decided to review these simple to use Sacla sauces because they are so handy to have in the cupboard.

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Jelly peaches were always one of my fave sweets in pic’n’mix so I was so chuffed to find these in Tesco.

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The nicest energy bar/ball/snack I have ever tasted! It doesn’t sit like led in your stomach or endanger your filings and it tastes wonderfully nutty and spicy and sweet and savoury all at once. Oh yeah, it gave me a few hours of extra energy to, ha!

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My and the Bloke decided to go spontaneously to get some food from V Revolution in the Northern Quarter. They make delicious and creative ‘junk’ food, tasty traditional-with-a-twist cocktails and they get giant gluten free cakes from a near by bakery. I’ve since been again and was even more impressed. I really should dedicate a whole blog post to this place.

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I’ve discovered that Rockstar do imaginatively flavoured energy drinks for people who hate the taste of most energy drinks. My gosh do they work as well! Usually half a can keeps me functioning in my own wobbly way when I’m weak/tired/slow on the uptake. If Rockstar doesn’t work, then nothing will and I just have to accept it’s another one of those chronically fatigued, brain-fogged kinda days.

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OMG these are A-mazing! *drool* They are salted caramel (dairy free) chocolates from Goupie, heavy on the salt. My Dad tried one and screwed his face up like a two year old after trying a lemon slice. The Bloke tried one and thought they were pretty good but I could eat these ALL day.

Street Art

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See my full post for more street art around Manchester.

Style

Finally, I have lots of clothes which all go together quickly and easily (necessary when you have to change a lot due to wildly fluctuating body and weather temperatures). I singled out items that always clash with everything and made up simple outfits just revolving around those items which I will stick to in the future. I charity shopped any items that are always bloody uncomfortable, don’t seem to work with any season (really warm cable knit jumper with wide neck and cut out panels down the sleeves, vents maybe!?) or things that need constant adjustment because why the hell should my clothes be stressful?

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Summer Day To Night OOTD post. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t tuck the vest into the fancy waistband of these pants. After all, style is about styling clothes and not just throwing them on.

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70’s Inspired Mermaid OOTD

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Why do I hardly ever wear tights and a skirt for casual days? Well now, I do ^_^

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About a third of my wardrobe is from EMP these days. I’ve recognised that ‘Urban Rock’ is my instinctive style genre . Hoop earrings, spikes, studs, trainers, skinny/ripped jeans, big black boots, black vests, Uggs, skulls, (p)leather, hoodies, armour rings and blue hair.

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Really shouldn’t class this an ‘outfit’ but I love this combo of clothes so here it is with links of where to by the same or similar.

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I was asked to review some clothes from Sammy Dress and wanted to replace some items that weren’t quite working in my wardrobe so I agreed. The rest of the items and links to them are in my post here.

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Stylish Summer Cover Up’s because why should we have to bear everything just because it’s 80 degrees outside.

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Summer Rock Chick OOTD

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I popped into Cyber Dog and after a helpful chat about Cards Against Humanity as well as hair dye, I bought this Voodoo Blue dye. I’m going to just slap it all over my hair as it’s gone a lighter brown in the sun so this will restore my hairs natural vampy darkness.

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Can’t believe that I’ve never made a Creepy Cute Wishlist from EMP before!

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Wearing fishnets or beehive tights with jeans looks cool and vampy but it isn’t exactly comfortable. Why do they feel so harsh and scratchy just because I’ve put them under jeans? Whaah!

Random What-not’s

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Oh my, that’s a rather large…

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I spontaneously wrote a post about Things You Do When Your Partner Is Also Your Best Friend.

Then I saw this adorkable – and let’s be honest – relatable comic by Catana.

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I bought a cross-trainer from Argos which me, my Dad and the Bloke carted up the stairs and assembled. All of the metal parts are incredibly well engineered as the Bloke (6’2″, 15st) going at full speed tested but the plastic moulding doesn’t quite click together well in places. The action is lovely and smooth on my knees, the stride length of 20″ is perfect and the display is really easy to use. I’m so pleased! Maybe I will work up to doing a whole 5 minutes on resistance 3 by next year, ha! No, seriously.

Beauty 

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I’d almost forgotten about Weleda before I came across this shampoo and body wash. This is the gentlest shampoo I have ever used.

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I have so many opened mascara’s already that I just really needed to add to the pile, smh. The idea was that I really wanted to find another affordable cruelty-free beauty brand as a lot of my original one’s have sold out to L’Oreal and Estee Lauder. Although the good news is The Body Shop are in the process of being sold to a totally cruelty-free company I’ve heard. Here’s my review of Soap & Glory’s Thick & Fast Mascara.

Stickers or Decals if you want to sound grown up.

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I have been known to flirt for pizza and I’m not ashamed to say it lol

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Bling, pastel and galaxy print, what’s not to like. I thought my lap top was looking a bit too 15-year-old-skater-boy with type of stickers on there so I slapped this on it.

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Got a nice blue-pink-purple theme going on, on my iGadget now. Looked a bit random before. Now, its more coherent than I am! ^_^

Preview of What’s Coming up in July

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Chrissie

 

 

Yes to Blueberries Smooth & Shine Shampoo Review

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I was surprised to find that Yes to Bluberries Smooth & Shine Shampoo spread through my hair easily and shampoo’d well, even though it contains no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Like the good little tester-of-products that I am, I applied a basic conditioner after using this, rather than one of my thick moisturising one’s, to see how much effect this shampoo actually had.

The results were impressive. Super smooth, shiny, silky feeling hair! The ends of my hair were coarse but that’s just the natural texture before I oil them. I did notice my ends appeared healthier and less split than before though. My hair has remained manageable and balanced with no oily roots or fluffy ends for seven whole days! My hair still went crazy in humidity but after brushing it (yes, you read that right) with a plastic cushioned paddle brush (after apply a little anti static spray) it calmed down and appeared sleek and shiny again. This never happens to my kind of hair!

I love the shape of the packaging because I’ll be able to get every last bit out of the bottle. I was expecting the shampoo to have an amazing scent of blueberries but didn’t notice it much, but then I’d prefer that, rather than a large amount of synthetic fragrance.

  • 98% natural ingredients
  • Paraben free
  • SLS free
  • Phthalates free
  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free

Yes to products are available from the usual places including Superdrug, Ocado and Walmart.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie